Archive for the ‘PhD diary’ Category

Turning social disputes into knowledge representations (DERI reading group 2012-03-28)

September 16th, 2012

Last March1 I gave a reading group talk about knowledge representations of online disputes:

Titled “Turning social disputes into knowledge representations”, the talk was based primarily on two papers:

Online argumentation, and particularly knowledge representation from argumentation, is the overarching theme of my dissertation at DERI and as I get together the overall argument, I’ve been looking through my old slidedecks. My previous reading group talk, from November 2011, was about Using Controlled Natural Language and First Order Logic to improve e-consultation discussion forums, based on several papers by Adam Wyner and his colleagues; more recently Adam and I have started a fruitful collaboration, funded in part by the COST action on argumentation and a Short-Term Travel Fellowship from Science Foundation Ireland.

  1. March 28, 2012 []

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Real-time LaTeX Collaboration

August 11th, 2012

I’m still looking for real-time collaboration tools for LaTeX. I need to try shareLaTeX again. Sadly, LaTeX-lab (which layers ontop of Google Docs) is only designed for a single editor at a time (kind of defeating the purpose). Apparently, ScribTeX (discovered via pinboard search) is popular (and there’s also verbosus) — and sounds useful.

One of the sticking points of using Google Docs (which is useful at some points of the editing) was its use of smartquotes. That, at least is avoidable: Tools -> Preferences gives the option to disable smart quotes and automatic substitution.

Google Docs preferences - disable smart quotes

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Missing rhetorical connectives

May 7th, 2012

There may be an implied relationship between tweets (as between sentences) which is not made explicit.

Androgyny is a key trait of the most successful performers.
(Because)
A person’s fame depends on fans of the opposite sex who wish to be that person.

(via the twitterfunding list from the twitterfunding experiment).

See also: my favorite example argument on Twitter.

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A Narration Negotiation and Reconciliation Table and the role of narrative in reconciliation

May 6th, 2012

A tabletop storytelling interface called a Narration Negotiation and Reconciliation Table allows disagreements to be visually represented:

Points of Disagreement… can be dragged onto any part of a story to explicitly denote disagreement without preventing the story from continuing.

From A Reflection on Using Technology for Reconciliation through Co-Narration (PDF) by Oliviero Stock, Massimo Zancanaro of FBK-irst, Italy and Chaya Koren, Zvi Eisikovitz, Patrice L. (Tamar) Weiss of University of Haifa, Israel. In the CHI2012 HCI for Peace workshop.
The mutltitouch table interface was tested for peace reconciliation work with Israeli-Jewish and Palestinian-Arab teen boys.

I’d love a screenshot. Quick searching turned up a project description and an (unrelated) discussion of the role of narrative in reconciliation. I excerpt:

The textbooks juxtaposed both historical narratives on the same page: on the right side of the page, the Israeli narrative began with the birth of Zionism in the 19th century; on the left, the Palestinian narrative commenced with Napolean’s plans to establish a Jewish state in Palestine. Historical events faced off like soldiers in trenches; and while students were scrutinizing their positions, they were simultaneously recongnizing their own involvement in the conflict. This, of course, was an intended pedagogical tool carefully thought out by the authors of the book.

From Political Reconciliation and Narrative Negotiation (PDF): by Nadim Khoury of the Department of Politics at the University of Virginia.

This points out the obvious: reconciliation first requires understanding and externally representing the disagreements. Rooting out the disagreement in mundane situations discussed online, and providing representations for them, are a big part of my current work.

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QOTD: in discussions, we negotiate points of view

April 30th, 2012

“Wikipedia discussions can thus be seen as a mirror of a stream of public consciousness, where those elements which are still not part of a shared consolidated heritage are object of a continuous negotiation among different points of view.”

There is No Deadline – Time Evolution of Wikipedia Discussions. (2012) Andreas Kaltenbrunner, David Laniado. arXiv:1204.3453v1

via summarizing it for Wikipedia Signpost, longer summary space on AcaWiki

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QOTD: long discussions cause challenges for Wikipedians

March 25th, 2012

Long discussions cause challenges for Wikipedians. That’s great motivation from some of my work.

Such discussions can often present a challenge to the editor who steps up to close them; “no consensus” is a common outcome for convoluted debates, a lack of resolution that opens the possibility of discussion starting all over again as the same issues continue to arise.

- Wikipedia Signpost, 2012-03-19

The report also links to Wikipedia’s essay on Too long; didn’t read; image from KnowYourMeme’s coverage of tl;dr.

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Introduction to the Day: Collective Intelligence as Community Discourse and Action

February 11th, 2012

Today I’m at the CSCW workshop on Collective Intelligence as Community Discourse and Action.

The day started with an introduction from Gregorio Convertino to the previous workshops.

Then Simon Buckingham Shum provided mutually overlapping categories for the workshop topics:

  • Empirical studies
  • New Tools
  • Discourse analysis
  • Sociality and social networks
  • Reflection and argumentation
  • Annotation
  • Crowdsourcing Dynamics
  • Civic Intelligence
  • Organizational Intelligence

I’m sorry that I’ll miss the World Cafe this evening (must run off for the doctoral colloqiuum). The plan is for the group to split into four topics for discussion:

  1. What do we already know about CI?
  2. Why should we care?
  3. What are the major obstacles?
  4. Tell me a CI story from the future

Twitter hashtag for the workshop is #cscw2012ci

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Factor-based summarization

December 13th, 2011

Factor-based summarization of reviews is useful:

I’m currently looking for a review of social media summarization. Any pointers?

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A Review of Argumentation for the Social Semantic Web

December 6th, 2011

I’m very pleased to share our “A Review of Argumentation for the Social Semantic Web“.

You are very warmly invited to review this paper. You can post the review as a comment to the manuscript page publicly at SWJ’s website. Informal comments by email are also welcome.

Open review

I adore SWJ’s open review process: publicly available manuscripts are useful. In 11 months the landing page has had “1208 reads” and I’m sure that not all of those are mine! Further, knowing who reviewed a paper can add credibility to the process. (It means quite a lot to me when Simon Buckingham-Shum says “I anticipate that this will become a standard reference for the field.”!)

Two earlier versions

The paper evolved from my first year Ph.D. report. In the process of defining my Ph.D. topic, I reviewed the state-of-art of argumentation for the Social Semantic Web. This was further developed in conversations with my coauthors, my colleague Tudor Groza and my advisor Alexandre Passant.

The outdated first journal submission and second journal submission are available; May’s reviews refer to the first version. A cover letter responding to the reviews summarizes what has changed. Shared since I am always encouraged by seeing how others’ work and ideas have developed over time!

So read the most recent version, and let us know what you think!

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Argumentation on Twitter

November 19th, 2011

Here’s an argument made on Twitter:

Difference between cakes and biscuits? When stale, cakes go hard, biscuits go soft. Hence Jaffa Cakes are cakes. (Was official EU ruling).

I just love this example:

  1. First, you can find it with “hence” (see cue phrases from an appendix to Marcu‘s thesis).
  2. Second, the notion of this EU (tax) ruling amuses me.
  3. Third, it shows that 140 characters is enough for a complex argumentative structure. This has three main claims: When stale, cakes go hard, biscuits go soft; Jaffa Cakes are cakes; and [Jaffa Cakes are cakes due to] official EU ruling.
  4. Enthymemes anyone?

It’s hard, though, to draw the line between an argument and an explanation in this context.
Jaffa Cakes, for you North American readers, are a common dessert-y snack in Ireland and the UK. Vaguely like Kandy Kakes found in the Philadelphia area/East Coast, but usually have an orange filling.

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